Dissecting successful immunotherapy
Professor Andy Sewell and his group are helping scientists in Denmark to understand how T-cells respond to immunotherapy for skin cancer.
Tumour inﬁltrating lymphocytes (TIL) are white blood cells found in tumours and are associated with killing tumour cells. At the Center for Cancer Immune Therapy in Copenhagen, TIL therapy involves growing TILs taken from patients with Stage IV melanoma in the laboratory prior to adoptive cell transfer. Remarkably, this therapy has already induced lasting complete remissions in a significant proportion of patients.
Professor Andrew Sewell, a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, and his group are helping the Copenhagen team by examining which T-cells respond to the patient’s tumour in the TIL and in patient blood after cure.
In most cases a single cancer-specific T-cell from the TIL dominates the response in patient blood after cure. We have developed computer-based methodologies that enable us to predict which peptides are being recognised by T-cells prior to experimental testing and conﬁrmation. These new cancer epitopes are promising candidates to induce in other patients via therapeutic vaccination.
Professor, Division of Infection and Immunity. Mechanisms of Immunity Theme Lead, Systems Immunity Research Institute.